This is the time of year when it’s often cold and dreary outside, and there’s nothing better than a delicious bowl of soup to warm you up. Did you know that making a pot of soup from scratch is actually very simple to do, and it’s oh, so healthy? Try some of our recipes below and get cooking!
Makes about 8 1-cup servings.
This sweet and creamy soup has just a hint of spiciness. It can also be made with puréed winter squash, yams, or sweet potatoes in place of the pumpkin.Read more
Add some variety to your grains by experimenting with barley. Barley is considered the first grain to be domesticated and many consider it more digestible than other grains.
The most basic edible form is hulled barley, where the outer inedible hull is removed, but the bran and germ of the grain remain. Pearled barley is steam-processed to remove more of the bran. Most of the barley found in the typical supermarket is pearl barley. Although it is technically a reﬁned grain, it’s much healthier than other reﬁned grains because (a) some of the bran may still be present and (b) the ﬁber in barley is distributed throughout the kernel, and not just in the outer bran layer. Pearl barley cooks more quickly than whole grain barley.
Barley is rich in nutrients, especially in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which help lower cholesterol and cut the risk of diabetes. It provides minerals such as manganese, selenium and copper, plus B vitamins and protein. Like wheat and rye, barley contains gluten, which makes it useful as a flour, but unsuitable for those with gluten sensitivities. Read more
Leeks are a member of the lily family, related to the onion, with a slender white bulb, cylindrical stem and broad, flat leaves. They make a tasty addition to any soup or stew, and are particularly famous in Leek and Potato Soup. They contain sugards, dietary fiber and small amounts of protein. There is also some iron and carotene in the green leaves. They can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
When leeks grow, they often trap soil and grit between their leaves. The best way to clean them is to halve them lengthways, down to the bulb, but not all the way through. You can then fan out and rinse all the leaves, while keeping the leek intact. Leeks can be boiled or steamed, braised in stock, or sliced into rings and stir fried.
This recipe is from The Almond Milk Cookbook by Alan Roettinger. Alan is a writer, food designer, blogger, and public speaker. As a private chef for over thirty years, he’s served a broad spectrum of high-profile clients, from entertainers to presidents, and has honed his expertise in bringing together health and pleasure in food. He is also the author of Extraordinary Vegan and several other cookbooks. He will be presenting at Vegfest 2016 in April.
Fennel is beneficial to digestion, making this soup an excellent first course. Leeks add a welcome secondary layer of flavor, and almond milk deepens and enriches the overall effect. (Serves 4)
2 large fennel bulbs, with fronds attached
2 leeks, white part only
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth or water
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Remove the fronds from the fennel stalks and chop the fronds coarsely. Transfer the fronds to a plate, cover, and set aside. Cut the fennel bulbs in half lengthwise, then thinly slice them crosswise. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove any grit. Pat them dry and thinly slice crosswise.
Put the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the sliced fennel and leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Don’t let the vegetables brown. Add the broth and salt and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender and the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, about 25 minutes.
Transfer to a blender and add the almond milk and pepper. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the fennel fronds and add the rest of the fronds to the blender. Process on high speed until smooth. Pour into the pot, straining through a fine-mesh sieve if a smoother soup is desired. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot. Garnish with the reserved fennel fronds and serve at once.
This is one of my favorite soup recipes from The Veg-Feasting Cookbook. You can make this soup as smooth or chunky as you like, depending on how much you mash or puree it. Serve it with some nice crusty whole-grain bread.
Serves 6 to 8
1½ tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped (about 1½ cups)
2 medium ribs celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1½ teaspoons dry mustard
¾ teaspoon ground dried sage
2 (14-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained (about 3½ cups)
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon tamari
2 teaspoons molasses
1 large bay leaf
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, salt and black pepper to taste. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the zucchini, mustard, and sage, and cook, stirring for a couple of minutes. Add the chickpeas, canned tomatoes and their juice, broth, water, sun-dried tomatoes, tamari, molasses and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove but reserve the bay leaf, and mash or lightly puree the soup (keeping it slightly chunky), then stir in fresh thyme. Add the bay leaf back in and simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes. Adjust the seasonings with more salt and pepper to taste, remove the bay leaf and serve.